Images: Michigan Marine bids traitional farewell to Afghanistan [Image 6 of 6]
GARMSIR DISTRICT, Helmand Province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan — Sgt. Maj. Brent Cook greets local Afghanistan National Police and Afghanistan National Army leaders during a traditional end of deployment dinner, May 3. Cook, a native of Kalamazoo, Mich., is the battalion sergeant major for 2nd battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. The battalion leaders of both 2/1 and 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment attended the dinner to say farewell and hello to the local leaders of the ANP and ANA. The dinner is a traditional part of transitioning a new unit in to Garmsir District. Based out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, 1/3 will take authority of Garmsir after 2/1 heads home to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., in May. The 1/3 “Lava Dogs” will support Regimental Combat Team 1, the Marine ground combat element in Southern Helmand province. The mission of the RCT is to partner with Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations to secure the Afghan people, defeat insurgent forces, and enable Afghanistan to assume security responsibilities in the region. Ultimately, the partnered forces promote the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.